Losers of six in a row, the 2-8 Milwaukee Bucks invade the Wells Fargo Center tonight for a meeting with the 5-8 Sixers, who will once again be without starting forward Thaddeus Young, who is not with the team due to personal reasons.
Here’s a look at some of the keys for the Sixers:
*Get better play from Michael Carter-Williams: He made his return on Wednesday after four games off due to a foot injury and wasn’t very impressive. He seemed to rush his play when things weren’t going well and also seemed out of synch much of the game in the loss to Toronto. Though just a rookie, the team does seem to feed off of him, and that showed on Wednesday. They’ll need a much better effort from MCW tonight.
*Fill the hole left by Thaddeus Young: Spencer Hawes did a great job filling in at the power forward spot for Young on Wednesday, going for a Sixers-high 28 points. But Daniel Orton and Lavoy Allen provided little in the middle, taking over Hawes’ spot. They need some kind of spark from either or both of those two against the shot-blocking Bucks.
*Find the old Evan Turner: In the past seven games Turner has shot just 40.2 percent from the floor after going for 55.2 percent in his first six games. In the first six games of the season, he was taking the ball hard to the rim. Lately he has reverted back to stopping short of the rim and either double-pumping his way to the basket and pulling up for five-footers. As a result, his shot has been getting blocked at an alarming rate.
*Find Gary Neal and O.J. Mayo: The two of them are both shooting better than 50 percent from three-point range, which has been an area the Sixers have not covered so well most of this season. Defensive rotations need to be stronger on outside shooting overall, but these two need to be marked at all times.
*Jump on Bucks early: Like the Sixers (at Indianapolis) the Bucks will play again on Saturday when they host the Charlotte Bobcats. Many times if a team on the road on the first game of a back-to-back digs themselves a hole, the reaction is to save the energy for the following night. That could happen if the Sixers can jump on Milwaukee early.